Asked by James Bingham, from King's College, London
The phrase "cyber Pearl Harbor" received attention when it by former defense secretary Leon E. Panetta in a speech about U.S. vulnerability to cyberwarfare threats. It is best understood as an effort to shape the domestic political debate and as a description of a potential future scenario, rather than as an accurate description of the cybersecurity threat.
The CFR-sponsored Independent Task Force report, Defending an Open, Global, Secure, and Resilient Internet, finds that as more people and services become interconnected and dependent on the Internet, societies are becoming increasingly vulnerable to cyberattacks. To support security, innovation, growth, and the free flow of information, the Task Force recommends that the United States and its partners work to build a cyber alliance, make the free flow of information a part of all future trade agreements, and articulate an inclusive and robust vision of Internet governance.
U.S. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel delivered these remarks at the First Plenary Session (Saturday, June 1, 2013) of the International Institute for Strategic Studies' Asia Security Summit (Shangri-la Dialogue) in Singapore.
In preparation for President Xi Jinping and President Barack Obama's meeting in California on June 7-9, Adam Segal writes, "The presidents won't come to any agreements next week, but over the course of the two days, they should try and dispel the growing mistrust by explaining their national interests and intentions in cyberspace."
Adam Segal, CFR's Maurice R. Greenberg senior fellow for China studies, leads a conversation on U.S.-China relations through the lens of cybersecurity issues, as part of CFR's Academic Conference Call series.
Cyber weapons are different from conventional weapons in that their effects do not directly manifest themselves in the "real world." There are three broad categories of potential effects of cyberattacks: personal, economic, and physical.
In 2009 the NATO Cooperative Cyber Defence Center of Excellence (NATO CCD COE) asked a panel of international law experts to "apply standards of international law to a virtual battlefield." The panel released this report on March 28, 2013, as "an expression of opinions of a group of independent experts acting solely in their personal capacity."
"APT1 is a single organization of operators that has conducted a cyber espionage campaign against a broad range of victims since at least 2006. From our observations, it is one of the most prolific cyber espionage groups in terms of the sheer quantity of information stolen."
Adam Segal says the recent Chinese cyberattacks on Bloomberg and the New York Timeshighlights both the willingness of Beijing to shape the narrative about China, as well as the vulnerability the top leadership feels about how they are portrayed.
Blake Clayton argues that cyber attacks on oil and gas operations are the new face of energy insecurity, with vast potential for crippling effects on global energy prices and nations far beyond the Middle East.
On June 6, 2012, Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano announced the formation of
Task Force on CyberSkills, which would "identify the best ways DHS can foster the development of a national security workforce capable of meeting current and future cybersecurity challenges; and second, to outline how DHS can improve its capability to recruit and retain that sophisticated cybersecurity talent."
Published in December 2011 and amended in August 2012, the Department of Homeland Security proposed a framework for ethical guidelines for computer and information security research. The framework was informed by the three principles of the 1979 Belmont Report for ethical research in the biomedical and behavioral sciences, Respect for Persons, Beneficence, and Justice. The Menlo Report adds the principle Respect for Law and Public Interest.
This report argues that the lack of sustained attention to energy issues is undercutting U.S. foreign policy and national security.
CFR Experts Guide
The Council on Foreign Relations' David Rockefeller Studies Program—CFR's "think tank"—is home to more than seventy full-time, adjunct, and visiting scholars and practitioners (called "fellows"). Their expertise covers the world's major regions as well as the critical issues shaping today's global agenda. Download the printable CFR Experts Guide.
The authors argue that it is essential to begin working now to expand and establish rules and norms governing armed drones, thereby creating standards of behavior that other countries will be more likely to follow.
The author examines Pakistan's complex role in U.S. foreign policy and advocates for a two-pronged approach that works to quarantine threats while integrating Pakistan into the broader U.S. agenda in Asia.
Learn more about CFR’s mission and its work over the past year in the 2014 Annual Report. The Annual Report spotlights new initiatives, high-profile events, and authoritative scholarship from CFR experts, and includes a message from CFR President Richard N. Haass. Read and download »